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Next week's delivery of Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine doses to Canada will be deferred entirely

Elisabetta Bianchini
·2 min read
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For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, revealed that Canada’s delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next will be deferred entirely.

The deliveries of vaccine doses from Pfizer are expected to increase in the first two weeks of February but the exact numbers are still being confirmed.

Maj.-Gen. Fortin explained that vaccine doses are in trays of 975 doses and can only be broken down so far, meaning that some jurisdictions may feel more of an impact than others, with an average of a 50 per cent reduction in supply.

Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, stressed that everyone in Canada who wishes to be vaccinated will be able to do so prior to the end of September.

“It is possible that we will see additional supply challenges along the way and again, this is precisely why we have multiple agreements in place with multiple manufacturers,” Anand said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said Canada remains on track to receive the four million promised doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the end of the first quarter of the year.

“We always knew that in manufacturing global vaccines at the scale that is going to be needed to end this pandemic there were going to be challenges for certain companies and certain situations,” Trudeau said.

Following reports that deliveries in Europe will be back to back to the original schedule by Jan. 25, Anand said she spoke to Pfizer and “insisted” equitable treatment in global supply reduction.

“Pfizer assured me and Canada of equitable treatment,” she said.

“A lot of people are comparing stories from country to country and trying to figure out how we can all move quicker,” Trudeau said. “I can assure you that minister Anand is talking almost daily with Pfizer and the other vaccine companies to ensure that we get as many dose as possible, as quickly as possible.”

“We will not rest, we will not slow down until we get as many Canadians vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can so we can all get through this pandemic.”

Check out our COVID-19 in Canada topic page for latest news, tips, health updates, cases and more.